Dr. Tan Mar 25 00:33 1

Hi Dr. Tan, I recently went to my Dr. for a pap. I told my Dr. about some symptoms I had been having while having sex with my husband. Sometimes I will bleed during sex and sometimes I will have pain durning or after sex that lasts for hours and hurts into my back and also hurts when I have a bowl movement. So while my Dr. was doing the pap she took another sample and said I tested positive for gonorrhea. I have never been with anyone else but my husband for 6 years. I got pregnant and I had a pap back in 2009 and they did a gonorrhea test then and it was negative. My husband swears that he never had an affair and we have had unprotected sex because we are married. So he also got tested and we got the results back today and they said he was negative. I am going back to get retested, I didn’t take the meds that were prescribed because I wanted to be sure if his came back negative that I could also be retested. My question, how often are these tests wrong? My husband and I are going to get a urine test done to check for gonorrhea and I am also going back to my Dr. to get another swab done. How accurate are the urine tests compared to the swab? Thanks, JP

Dr. Tan

That is a very unusual and I'm sure, difficult situation to be in. I empathize. So you are basically asking me what is the possibility that your tests where a false positive? Well, it depends on what test your doctor did on the swab. If it was a PCR test, studies differ on its specificity (chance that a positive is a real positive) and ranges from 93% to 99.5%. If it was a culture test, specificity is almost invariably 100% (i.e. cultures are never wrong). Swabs are invariably better than urine in both sensitivity and specificity.